Zaledwie trzy tygodnie po wywalczeniu podium w Rajdzie Chorwacji Kajetan Kajetanowicz jest gotowy do kolejnego wyzwania. LOTOS Rally Team zawita tym razem na Rajd Portugalii, jeden z najstarszych i Just three weeks after scoring another World Rally Championship podium in Croatia Rally, Kajetan Kajetanowicz gets ready for new challenge. The LOTOS Rally Team comes to Portugal, to compete in one of the oldest and most prestigious gravel events in the world. Last year this rally was won by Kajetanowicz and Szczepaniak, while this time no less than forty-one crews will fight for top honours in the WRC2 category.
One month ago the Polish driver has started his fifth WRC campaign in style. Winning four special stages, Kajto claimed runner-up spot in extremely tough Croatia Rally, scoring a solid amount of precious points. Now his fans are looking forward to Rally de Portugal – the first gravel outing for Kajetanowicz in 2022.
Moving on from muddy tarmac, now the competitors tackle gravel roads – with plenty of big stones, especially during second runs of the stages. One unfortunate hit may result in puncture or suspension damage. It will be especially important during the opening leg: the competitors have to complete nine special stages without a service break.
The WRC2 field in Portugal will be even stronger than in Croatia, with forty-one crews on the entry list – and the likes of Andreas Mikkelsen or Teemu Suninen, with much experience in the top WRC category. Oliver Solberg, son of the 2003 world champion, also runs a factory programme with Hyundai in Rally1 category. There are also Croatia Rally winner Yohan Rossel, former WRC drivers Eric Camilli and Stéphane Lefebvre, European champion Chris Ingram or young and always quick Marco Bulacia.
– We had no time for celebration after Croatia Rally, having to switch rally quick from slippery tarmac to equally demanding gravel. I had always dreamt about competing in legendary Rally de Portugal, finally achieving this last year – on top of that we won this event, so I have very good memories, although this is one of the most demanding rounds in the World Rally Championship calendar. However, we open a new chapter, which began with two days of testing in Portugal. I hadn’t had a chance to drive on gravel since Acropolis Rally, so those two days were very important. Thanks to changeable weather, we could test our car in different conditions. I am happy, I needed it very much. Together with the whole team, always supporting me, we are ready to compete
– says Kajetan Kajetanowicz.
The opening stage of the 55th Rally de Portugal gets underway on Thursday evening, at 20:03 CET. SS Coimbra, just 2.83 kms long, is just a warm-up ahead of Friday. On this day the crews will complete two runs of Lousã (12.03 kms), Góis (19.33 kms) and Arganil (18.72 kms), with single passes of Mortágua (18.16 kms) and the final test on Friday, Lousada (3.36 kms). There will be no service break between the stages.
On Saturday – the longest day of Rally de Portugal – the crews will cover 156.80 kms, with two runs of Vieira do Minho (17.48 kms), Cabeceiras de Basto (22.03 kms) and monster Amarante stage (37.24 kms). This day ends with a single run of Porto-Foz (3.30 kms). The final leg starts with Felgueiras (8.91 kms), followed by Montim (8.96 kms) and Fafe (11.18 kms), with its famous jump and huge crowds along the road. Afterwards the competitors will repeat Felgueiras stage and finish the rally with another run of Fafe, run as Power Stage with bonus points. The whole route of Rally de Portugal is 330.17 kms long.
Starts of Kajetan Kajetanowicz are supported by strategic partner of the LOTOS Rally Team – Grupa LOTOS, technical partner Delphi Technologies, as well as Pirelli, SJS Driving Experience and Grupa Sikora.